Testimonial of a Chung Moo

A Martial Arts Journey Begins

It was in the late summer of 1991, and I was dating a lovely gal at the time (I will always be grateful for that introduction).  She had invited me to watch a martial arts class at Chabot College in Hayward.  I first met Mr. Larry Aguiar then and he would be a mentor and coach in Taekwondo for the next few years.  During that time, around every 2-3 months, Master Sim would come by from TaeKwonDo USA (a group of Sr instructors and Masters joined to build 5 studios throughout the East Bay, at the time) to see if there were some students possibly interested in taking things to the next level.  “Coach Ag’s” classes were very solid, and took the more traditional “time in service” with teaching and disseminating information (self-discovery always being the best method). Those days were foundations and transformational for me.  Many things happened in my life that I attribute to my starting martial arts; I quit smoking cigarettes cold turkey one day, started to take my consulting work a bit more seriously (I was an aloof part-time musician, part-time tech geek with long hair at the time). I stayed with the Chabot group for several years and when I reach blue belt, Master Sim took an interest (and likely a recommendation from Coach Ag) and invited me to spend some time with him at the studios.

The Next Chapter TaeKwonDo USA

The early days with Master Sim were rather interesting; it was a mix of learning about each other, eating lots of good meals, and for me, lots of alone time working out in the Fremont studio. We would meet at 9 am and I would work out for 2-3 hours and then we would head out to lunch.  After several months of that, I was then invited to come up to the Union City studio (had a very good student base at the time) and I was indoctrinated into teaching.  At first, it was learning to hold targets the right way, to use encouragement (especially with younger ones)

John Campos Taekwondo USA Hayward

Hayward TKD USA Studio 1995

First Time as a Chung Moo

Chung Boem Lee was a well-known master who taught in Northern California. He was my masters master and I was named the first brown belt “Chung Boem or Chung Moo” in his memory. I worked harder than most on techniques that Master Sim took time to share with me.  He refined the refinements… it wasn’t until many years later that another younger Korean student had laid a carefully placed compliment that he hadn’t seen too many white guys who knew how to kick… to which I was taken back.  I never thought of anything other than learning the techniques to the best of my ability… it was something I carried over as a drummer; always practicing in attempt to perfect. I think it is on that journey of focus that we arrive at our level of mastery. And always working on basics over and over again.

I stayed with my journey with Master Sim all these years, he would have me test for my 1st dan, then a year or two later, my second, and after 3 years, my third… all the while, appreciating the techniques learned, that sometimes even seemed to change! I would work so hard on one style or method, that he would then show me the same thing, a different way! I eventually learned that there is never one way to do anything, but depending on the situation will dictate which technique is correct.

Now Many Years Later

As now a 4th degree, my perspective of martial arts, and life have evolved considerably. I now look at every situation both as a joy and a risk because you never know what life will throw you. Enjoy the moments of life, respect one another, but stand your ground on important matters. That doesn’t mean it’s not ok to walk away from throwing a punch… it means you pick out what’s more important in moments. I stay limber and shadow mirror moves (the BEST sparring partner IMHO) with hands in a submissive or less threatening position; do NOT let your opponent know what you know EVER. In battle, we must quickly ascertain what we are dealing with, and determine the quickest course of action to disable the opponent, with as little damage as possible. This requires training in critical strike areas (pressure points) and holds (submissions) that end a confrontation quickly.

Now that I am living in Thailand, I am faced with multiple opponents who are shorter (lower to the ground), quicker, and likely will attack in gang fashion. The first move; get out of the fight if possible.  If not, whip out your belt (use the buckle side) and small fist-sized flashlight, and get ready to whale; turning your head and body as soon as you throw a kick or punch (don’t wait for it to land before you start your move) scanning your next opponents constantly… and always have an out if shit gets too crazy!

I’ve been more recently exposed to dancing, which is something Master Sim always shared with me was very a-similar to martial arts; moves, steps, dexterity, condition. I’ll enjoy this back nine of my life with martial arts and dance as an important part.

Tae Kwon Do Student Oaths – Wikipedia

Taekwondo Student Oath – Wikipedia

The Royal Tae Kwon Do Federation (RTF) was founded by Grand Master Son Myung Soo. The RTF also has its own unique set of student oaths that are recited in unison upon completion of a training session. The RTF tenets are as follows:

  • 1 Courtesy
  • 2 Integrity
  • 3 Perseverance
  • 4 Self-control
  • 5 Indomitable spirit

Tae kwon do student oath – Wikipedia

The Taekwondo student oath is typically recited at the beginning of a class in Taekwondo, either with students repeating after the instructor, or in unison, students and the instructor speaking at the same time.[citation needed]

Read More >> Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tae_kwon_do_student_oath

10 Benefits of Taekwondo for Kids | Sulphur Springs ATA Martial Arts | Sulphur Springs ATA Martial Arts School

10 Benefits of Taekwondo for Kids | Sulphur Springs ATA Martial Arts | Sulphur Springs ATA Martial Arts School

10 Benefits of Taekwondo for Kids | Sulphur Springs ATA Martial Arts | Sulphur Springs ATA Martial Arts School

In a world that continues to glorify violence in the media, parents may have a worry about signing their young children up for taekwondo classes.  Martial arts is so much more than just kicking and punching.  The life skills we teach as a daily part of our classes help children grow into responsible young adults.  Here are just a few of the many benefits your child will receive as part of Sulphur Springs ATA Martial Arts.

Source: sulphurspringsata.com/10-benefits-of-taekwondo-for-kids/